Wednesday night saw a series of dramatic developments in Jammu and Kashmir politics leading to the state assembly being dissolved in a bizarre fashion. Governor Satya Pal Malik announced the dissolution of the state assembly moments after PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti expressed her desire to form a government with the support of the Congress and the National Conference.
Governor Malik announced his decision to dissolve the assembly, which was kept in suspended animation for months, after rejecting repeated demands to do the same by the National Conference, a party headed by former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. Many analysts felt that Malik’s decision may have been an outcome that the PDP, the NC and the Congress would have desired.
The last 24 hour in the valley has, however, seen several crazy developments that highlight just how democratic values have been thrown out of the window under the current BJP government at the Centre.
- While announcing her intention to form an alternative government with the help from the NC and the Congress, Mufti wrote that she was unable to send her letter to Governor Malik, who was in Jammu, since the fax machine was not working. The fact that the fax machine wouldn’t work at a posh residence of the state governor in 2018 came across as bizarre development. This led to many Twitter memes. NDTV’s Suparna Singh wrote, “Fax machine is the new dog ate my homework.”
- Responding to Mufti’s charge on the fax machine at the Governor’s House not allowed to work deliberately, Malik said that there was no staff at his house to operate the fax machine on account of the Eid Milad-un-Nabi, being observed by Muslims on Wednesday. He added that there was no one to even serve him food.
- The Centre’s BJP government, which appoints governors in states, did not issue any explanation on Malik’s extraordinary action, widely seen as a brazen attempt to subvert the democratic process in a sensitive state. Instead, Ram Madhav, the BJP’s national general secretary, astonishingly claimed that the PDP, the NC and the Congress had decided to come otgether to form an alternative government at the instruction of Pakistan. This is what he told news agency ANI, “PDP and NC boycotted local body polls last month because they had instructions from across the border. Probably they had fresh instructions from across the border to come together and form the government.”
#WATCH: BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav says on dissolution of J&K assembly, “PDP & NC boycotted local body polls last month because they had instructions from across the border. Probably they had fresh instructions from across the border to come together & form govt.” pic.twitter.com/wNjGSFmJbc
— ANI (@ANI) November 22, 2018
This is not the first time the Centre has come under criticism for using Governors’ offices for political gains in different states. The Modi government was accused of using the office of Govenor in Manipur, Goa, Tamil Nadu and, more recently, Karnataka for attempting to prevent non-BJP parties to form governments in these states.
4. As expected, Omar Abdullah took a dim view of Madhav’s bizarre allegations and dare him to prove his charges or apologise. A red-faced Madhav then said that he was only joking. His tweet posted with a smiley read, “Just take it in your stride
@OmarAbdullah Not questioning your patriotism at all. But d sudden love between NC n PDP n d hurry to form government leads to many suspicions n political comments. Not to offend u.” Abdullah refused to detect humour in a development as serious as alleged attempts to subvert the democratic process in a state, adversely affected by militancy.
5. Another important stakeholder in Jammu and Kashmir was Sajjad Lone, who had earlier sided with the BJP, when it formed the government with ht help of PDP. Although, there were no ideological similarities in these three parties, the BJP had hailed the alliance as something, which had blessing from the God. Several users on Twitter highlighted the BJP’s hypocrisy that an alliance with the PDP is ‘God-send’ only when it’s the BJP. It’s Pakistani conspiracy when the PDP attempts to form a similar alliance with the NC or the Congress. One of the reasons why the three parties on Wednesday hastily wanted to stitch an alliance because they feared that Lone may succeed in causing defection in their parties’ ranks. Lone too was attempting to stake his own claim by garnering support from MLAs in other political parties. He had claimed to have secured the support of 18 BJP MLAs and 26 from other parties.